A new group has been formed to promote equine wellbeing within horse sport, and to develop guidance to promote an ethical horse-human relationship.

The British Equestrian (BEF) board recently launched the independent body, The Equine Welfare and Ethics Advisory Group, under the chairmanship of Professor Madeleine Campbell. It is composed of experts within equestrian sport, including individuals in equine veterinary science, the charity sector and governance.

“I’m delighted that the vision for this group is now a reality,” said John McEwen, BEF Director of Equine Sport Science and Medicine. “This advisory body hasn’t been set up to defend our sports, more to champion further improved welfare standards which will ensure equestrianism and the sports under the control of the BEF member bodies operates in a safe and ethical environment.”

The group will explore equine welfare and safeguarding issues and the concept of social licence, as well as how best to support BEF member bodies.

“This is a welcome initiative from British Equestrian, and I was humbled to be asked to chair the group,” added Madeleine. “The equestrian sporting landscape outside racing involves a large and complex range of stakeholders. However, I anticipate that the group will provide clear guidance and a framework for everyone to champion equine welfare in a way which clearly puts the horse’s wellbeing first and foremost and optimises their care, and ultimately contributes to preserving our sports and to maintaining the social licence to ride and keep horses in the future.”

The Group will meet quarterly in 2023 as well as being available for assistance with responses on welfare issues. At the end of the year, they will make recommendations to the BEF Board.

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